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How To Make A Beneficial SOW (Statement Of Work)

Project management practices consist of paperwork and a variety of documents. No matter you are working in a big company or a small one, these kinds of documents are an important part of the project management cycle. Almost every company requires documents like project charter and statement of work, especially those which deal with clients. Statement of Work is considered as an essential document because it outlines everything to keep the project on track.

WHAT IS SOW?

A statement of work is a standardized pattern of carrying out any task. It is a powerful document that describes everything involving the purpose, objectives, goals, resources, costs, budgets and management. It is a kind of contract which is necessary for project management.

Sometimes, it is scary if you are given a task to make an effective statement of work. But fortunately, it is not that difficult. Let’s figure out how you are going to make it and how it should be:

Include Every Section:

In this document, it is necessary to include every single detail otherwise it will be undermined and useless. It should include the following contents:

Project Objectives:

All information about the goal of the project is included. Like how you are going to end the project.

Project Scope:

A detailed explanation of how the objective(s) will be completed. It is one of the crucial steps in project management.

Schedule:

It contains detailed information about the whole timeline of the project and the tasks it contains.

Deliverables:

Here you have to mention all the features of the project. Specify each deliverable with relevant details and put them in order and specify when to complete them.

Tasks:

 Enlist the tasks that should be carried out to achieve the desired deliverable. Again, specify when they will complete and who is assigned to a specific task.

Payment:

Mention the costs and payments of every single deliverable and the way you want to be paid. The method of payment must be decided in this document.

Signatures of all parties:

Obviously, in the end, u need to have the signature of all the parties so that your document is considered legal and official.

BE CLEAR ON WHAT COUNTS AS “SUCCESS,” ALL THE WAY THROUGH:

Now that when you have mentioned all the features of your project, you have to figure out the methods and ways to get success. When there are so many people involved in a project, you need to work on figuring out what will count as success. Because in this way, everyone will have a clear picture of the perfect deliverable or result that has to be accomplished.

Outline and make grounds for standard outcomes. Once you know where to start from, and what you want to achieve in the end, it is easier to make the thing work that way. Be very particular about setting goals. Also, particular goals make you understand how you should assess the tasks going through the project.

The more you know what success wants and how it is going to achieve, the more you are on the way through it without any hassles.

USE CLEAR LANGUAGE:

So this is an extremely important factor that can bring multiple misunderstandings and drawbacks at the same time. When you are not clear about your terms and conditions, you might be caught while working on a project with so many ambiguities and problems.

If you want to avoid such mishaps, be very clear in your terms. Keep your language as simple as possible. Never assume that your client will understand you. Hence, keep everything straight from the very beginning. Not only that you need clarity with customers, but also with any of the sponsors, your team and management, and more.

Using straightforward and easy language makes it easier for everyone to understand the statement of work and prevents obstacles and roadblocks that may occur in the future while working on a project.

AVOID EXTREME DETAILS:

As we have mentioned above to specify every detail of the project. But remember, avoid spelling out things that might change in the future. It is understood that things change as we start working on them and sometimes, we need to modify them in order to achieve the best outcomes. Adjustments and modifications are a part of every project. Therefore, while making a statement of work, be very smart to leave some room for the things that might need modifications in the future.

So the question is how are you going to do that? We say that one should minimize surprises and make flexible choices. Like you can mention the probabilities of changes in your statement of work. Similarly, while setting deadlines, instead of hitting the exact date, give a small range. Keep your clients know that you need flexibility. Don’t try to be over efficient since it is usually said, under-promise and over-deliver. Be on the safe side to keep things a little easier for you.

These are few ways how to make a clear, straightforward and beneficial statement of work to keep the work go on track and follow the methods that have been decided after thorough evaluation and observations.

Alma Reed is an author and researcher dedicated to enhancing productivity. She is deeply interested in areas such as time management, increasing productivity, and fostering healthy routines. Through her writing, she aims to assist people in boosting their job performance and attaining an ideal balance between work and life.

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